Fleet Town 0 Salisbury 3
Fleet Town exited the Buildbase FA Trophy to their higher league visitors, but despite the final scoreline were not disgraced or overrun, a couple of if only moments that would have made it a closer encounter. In the early exchanges although Salisbury were quicker to the ball and running around a lot they were unable to create a clear opening, as the game settled down, Fleet were competing more and getting in more tackles, though some zealous and fussy referring kept stopping the game for free kicks and from one of these given for nothing of a contact, about 25 yards out wide on the left, Lewis Benson for the visitors placed the ball, after a long hold while everyone got into position, he lifted the ball towards the far post and it seemed almost in slow motion the ball drifted across the box, players from both sides jumping for it but not making any contact, the ball passed about an inch under the bar and an inch inside the far post to go into the roof of the net and the visitors had the lead. Almost immediately Fleet had their first real chance, when Abdul Rajab and Joe Wilson combined on the right and played a dangerous cross over the six yard box, only for a Salisbury defender to get his head on the ball first and give Fleet a corner, which got easily dealt with. This let off for the visitors made them come on stronger and they dominated the action to keep Fleet pushed back, with the help of a string of free kicks Salisbury were able to try to set up openings, but strong defending was keeping them out and clearing the danger cleanly. Then the one time the ball does not get cleared cleanly first time, a scramble ensued until eventually Fleet get he ball out of the box, but straight to the feet of the visitors Thomas Whelan, he fired the ball back through a crowd of players and there was Fleet’s loanee keeper, from QPR, in his second game for Fleet, the first at home, Harvey White standing in the right place to make the catch. Into the final minute of the half, as the Salisbury attack comes to nothing, a quick break out from Fleet saw Salisbury short at the back, their keeper, James Hillson already out of his box, in a sweeper position ran forward more to meet the ball, which hit his chest and then rolled down his arm, initially the referee let him play on and clear the ball, not noticing his assistant standing waving his flag, after a long discussion the referee went back to give Fleet a free kick for the handball and a yellow card for James Hillson. One of the if only moments, Meshach Williams struck the ball crisply but it passed just over the bar, the half time whistle blew even before the goal kick could be taken.
The first chance of the second half came when Fleet broke down the left, a low hard cross, keeper Hillson went down for it but spilt the ball as it rolled away from him, he reacted fastest and got to it before any of the other players from both sides closing in on it. Salisbury got the ball in behind Fleet with Aaron Dawson running down the left, he reached the box, Harvey White ran over to close him down, as Aaron realised he had no support up with him, he stopped and fell to the ground as the Fleet keeper reached him, the referee immediately blew for a Penalty. Luke Hopper scored from the spot and the visitors were 2-0 ahead. A few minutes later Fleet made a triple change, with everyone playing well the players brought off were unfortunate not to see out all 90 minutes, with Connor Channon and Lamar Koroma in particular having very good games, but coming on fans favourite Bily Oram, recent signing Harryson Wickens and the returning Callum Abraham-Barlow who resigned this week for Fleet Town had time to try to influence or change the game. Immediately Callum was on the ball a driving run down the left. Salisbury then made their last two changes as they looked to see the game out. As another Fleet attack is stopped, the players going back to be in position ready for an expected Salisbury attack, but the clearance is short and collected in midfield by Meshach Williams, he runs through towards the box, with only the keeper in front of him, he chooses his corner and hits the ball past James Hillson but the ball also runs past the wrong side of the box, another if only moment. This narrow escape concentrated the visitors minds as they wern’t sure 2-0 was going to be enough, a quick run and Aaron Dawson had the opening to shoot, but could not beat Harvey White, who got down to make the save. Moments later Salisbury were up around the box again, this time a deep cross was met at the far post by the head of sub, Pablo Haysham and make it 3-0. The final quarter of an hour saw Fleet press Salisbury back but despite several chances for Danilo Cadete and Meshach Williams they were unable to fashion a consolation reward from the game.
Fleet Town are back at home next Saturday in the league against Paulton Rovers.
Fleet Town : 1 Harvey White, 2 Joe Wilson, 3 Matthew Deadfield, 4 Ronan Silva, 5 Daniel Framp, 6 Amarni Bonsu, 7 Danilo Cadete, 8 Lamar Koroma, 9 Meshach Williams, 10 Connor Channon, 11 Abdul Rajab.
subs : 12 Callum Abraham-Barlow (on for Koroma 62 mins), 15 Harryson Wickens (on for Deadfield 62 mins), 16 Billy Orram (on for Connor Channon 62 mins)
not used 14 Riccardo Andrady, 17 Stuart Derry.